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Can the bank pay a check if my account is overdrawn?

Depending on the terms of your deposit account agreement, the bank can either return the check unpaid or they can pay the check.

If paying the check results in an overdraft, the bank can assess an overdraft fee against your account. Overdraft fees must be disclosed in the deposit account agreement and fee schedule.

Last Reviewed: October 2020

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on HelpWithMyBank.gov should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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